An appeals court in France ruled Friday that social networking company Facebook can be sued for its removal of a nude painting under French law, after ruling against the company's claim that its decision was based on Californian law.
The lawsuit stems from Facebook's decision five years ago to block the account of a 57-year-old Parisian teacher who posted a picture of Gustave Courbet's 1886 canvas "L'Origine du monde," which shows a realist depiction of female genitals, according to TIME.
In response, the teacher, Frédéric Durand-Baissas, sued Facebook for nearly $22,500 in damages and demanded his account be reinstated.
The picture, regarded as a masterpiece, hangs in Paris' Musée d'Orsay, and according to the museum's website, Courbet "regularly painted female nudes, sometimes in a frankly libertine vein. But in 'The Origin of the World' he went to lengths of daring and frankness which gave his painting its peculiar fascination."
When brought before a lower court in March 2015, it ruled that a clause in Facebok's terms of agreement signed by users was abusive in reserving exclusive rights to California court to hear disputes. Facebook appealed against a Paris High Court's authority to hear the case but was ultimately turned down.
The teacher's lawyer, Stephanie Cottineau, was pleased with the result, telling the Associated Press: "This is a great satisfaction and a great victory after five years of legal action...On one hand, Facebook shows a total permissiveness regarding violence and ideas conveyed on the social network. And on the other hand, (it) shows an extreme prudishness regarding the body and nudity."